How to cut leeks: If you’ve never cooked with leeks before, it’s time you gave this mild member of the onion family a try. Cooking renders them almost melt-in-your-mouth tender!

Leeks are so soft they practically dissolve into soups, stews and gravies, enriching the flavor and slightly thickening the broth as they cook. We love serving roasted leeks, Parmesan Roasted Leeks, and they taste amazing in potato leek soup!

Raw leeks on a cutting board

What Do Leeks Taste Like

Leeks have a mild onion taste and texture all their own. They can be used in any dish that calls for onions or garlic. If your family doesn’t like onions, they may find leeks to be more agreeable. However, working with leeks is a little different from handling onions, so read on for some tips.

How To Clean and Cut Leeks

Leeks grow upright as stalks, with a white bottom that turns darker green toward the top. I personally find this shape makes them a lot easier to handle than hard, slippery bulb onions. But knowing how to clean and cut leeks takes some special handling because their densely packed layers tend to harbor grit. And you can’t get at this grit when the leeks are intact. Here’s how to cut up a leek:

  1. Trim away the root and cut off the darker part of the top. (You can save the tops to flavor your soup stock.)
  2. Slice the white and light green portion of the stalk into thin rounds, or julienne into 2-inch strips. If you’re wondering how to cut leeks for soup, I usually cut the leeks into rounds.

How to Clean Leeks

I find the easiest way to clean wish the cut up leeks in a bowl of clean cold water to dislodge any grit, and drain.

You can also slice them in half vertically and then fan the layers under cold running water to clean.


cut leeks on a cutting board with one part being peeled up

How to Cook Leeks

In general, the white and lightest green portions of the stalk are used. Sliced, diced or julienned leeks cook faster than onions. You can sauté them or throw them in a pot with the rest of your soup or stew ingredients. Braised leeks make a luscious side dish!

I cut the stalk vertically in half and cut these into 4-inch lengths. Then I braise them in broth, butter, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Chunks of leeks cut this way are also terrific nestled beside a savory pot roast, and can be placed on the plate beside the meat as a condiment.

Pieces of leek on a cutting board

Try Adding Leeks To These Delicious Recipes

REPIN this Easy Kitchen Tip

Raw Leeks on a cutting board for how to cut leeks

Raw Leeks on a cutting board for how to cut leeks
Raw leeks on a cutting board with a title



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I grew up eating leeks and I now use them in soups and stews and have even added them to stir fries, they are a very versatile vegetable, not to mention quite tasty. I encourage everyone to give them a try. Start with adding some to your next chicken or vegetable soup and go from there!